The Weekly Round-Up #668 With Black Adam #4, AXE: Judgment Day #5, Draculina #6, Public Doman #4, Star Wars: Darth Vader #27 & More!

Columns, Top Story

Best Comic of the Week:

Black Adam #4 – Malik is starting to get used to the idea of being a superhero, as the Demon comes to visit and impress upon him how serious his tasks actually are.  Black Adam, meanwhile, is in remission from the disease that was killing him, and is starting to put together an idea of how much of a threat the Akkad really are.  As with any Priest-written book, this can be a little confusing, and the slang feels a little off, but the ideas fueling this story are fantastic.  I’m starting to really like Malik, and am very happy with Rafa Sandoval’s artwork.

Quick Takes:

AXE: Judgment Day #5 – Now that things are looking very bleak, it’s time for the mutants of Krakoa, the Eternals, and the rest of Earth’s heroes to come together and take the fight to the Celestial that stands in judgment of the Earth.  It feels like Kieron Gillen is playing very fast and loose with the rules around Krakoa’s resurrection protocols, in a way that I hope one of the tie-ins explains, but aside from that, this is the exciting beginning to the final act.  I’m interested in seeing how Gillen pulls this off, and if artist Valerio Schiti can continue to outshine himself from one issue to the next. This event has been a little bloated, and it has felt a little omnidirectional in places, but it’s coalescing very nicely.

Draculina #6 – Priest wraps up his story, with the big confrontation between Katie, Draculina, Belial, Hesiod, and Lilith.  This has been a very strange story, as most Priest stories end up being, but it’s helped to further flesh out his vision of the Vampirella universe, and I guess sets up the sequel series coming out next year.  It was a worthy read.

The Flash #786 – The Flash family helps out with the fight against Deathstroke’s forces in this Dark Crisis tie-in issue.  But, when I say the Flash family, I mean Wally’s immediate family, as he uses this global crisis as a good opportunity to show Linda and their kids the ropes, and they zip around supporting other heroes.  This book has such a warm feeling to it, and feels like the first worthy successor to Mark Waid’s classic run on the title.  Amancay Nahuelpan’s art has grown a lot since his Black Mask Comics days, and I love to see it.  I’m also happier than I expected to be to see the JSA back in action and interacting with other heroes.

Legion of X #5 – The first arc of this series wraps up, with a few revelations for characters that are important to the title.  I really like the way that Simon Spurrier is writing this book, and using the weird potential of David Haller to open up new avenues of exploration for Nightcrawler.  His take on Kurt, David, and some of the other characters is a little bit different, and his plotting is a little unconventional, and it all works for me.  I’m not sure where this book is going after the next issue, which is an AXE tie-in, but I hope that it sticks around for a while.

Manifest Destiny #47 – There’s only one more issue to go in this excellent series!  I don’t think I ever would have guessed that this alternative history horror series would last this long, and I’m so thankful that Chris Dingess and Matthew Roberts got the chance to tell their entire story without having to truncate it.  The few remaining members of the Lewis and Clark expedition have made it to the Pacific Ocean, and the demon that has been waiting for them.  All that’s left is a little ritual sacrifice, and the USA would be rendered conflict-free.  But, not everyone in the expedition is willing to do what needs to be done, and the infighting has become open and very heated.  I love this series, which is always very unpredictable (although I think I have a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen in the next issue).  It’s a great comic.

New Mutants #30 – Vita Ayala’s last issue is a celebration of the team’s history, and it’s a fun book.  I could definitely have done without the Deadpool backup, but the main story, which has the original core team gathering on Bobby’s space yacht for a party, and telling some stories from different moments in their shared history.  It was a nice issue, and while I enjoyed parts of Ayala’s run, I’m interested in seeing where this is going to go from here.  This book has never really clicked in the Krakoan era.

Nightwing #96 – Dick has his final confrontation with Blockbuster, and like the rest of Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo’s run, it’s pretty glorious.  Taylor really gets Dick’s character, and knows how to have other characters react to him in a compelling way.  This series has been a great read for a while now, and I like how the end of this story sets up the long-simmering Heartless storyline.

Public Domain #4 – Sydney now has publishing rights to his comic character, and he’s basically given away the farm to get them.  Miles is furious, and feels responsible for the whole situation.  Chip Zdarsky has turned what started out as a scathing criticism of the comics industry into a fascinating family drama, exploring the relationships between adults and their parents.  I’m really enjoying this book, which is becoming less funny than I’d expected, but more and more interesting.  With all he’s doing each month, I’m surprised that Zdarsky has time to write and draw this book.

Star Wars: Darth Vader #27 – Vader continues to tax himself taking down a local governor.  I feel like this storyline is dragging on longer than it should be, as Vader has been shown again and again to be able to deal with threats like this with no trouble.  Sabé continues to be the most interesting character in this book, and Rafalle Ienco’s art continues to be the thing that draws me to it.

20th Century Men #2 – I’m glad I decided to give this series another issue to impress me.  It’s not an easy read, as writer Deniz Camp delves further into his vision of an alternate history.  The Soviet Union is struggling to hold on to Afghanistan, while the United States decides to get more overtly involved than before.  This world has superbeings, and the story is told from the perspective of Iron-Star, the Soviet hero who is now feeling disillusioned and lost, yet still committed to his mission, even though he doesn’t believe anyone back in Moscow understands what’s going on.  There’s a mysterious quality to the storytelling that keeps anything from being given to us in a straight line.  The reader needs to work to figure out what’s happening, but the writing is engaging so this doesn’t bother me.  Stipan Morian has a very interesting sense of design, and his characters look great.  I love that this book is longer than the usual comic, but the price is standard.  This is an interesting series that I’m now committed to sticking with.

X-Men Unlimited: X-Men Green #2 – Gerry Duggan has set Nature Girl loose on the planet, as she hopes to fix the problems destroying the environment, but is also mostly just giving in to her rage.  Much of this issue felt a little too long, but I like the way that Duggan has established Nature Girl as a character to be respected, and has laid the groundwork for a future series or story.  

X-Terminators #1 – I was excited to see Leah Williams writing another Krakoan title, after enjoying her X-Factor so much.  This is a different kind of beast, though.  Dazzler breaks up with her boyfriend, and then asks Jubilee and Boom-Boom to keep her company while she gets drunk at a local dive bar.  The women are set up though, and soon find themselves in a series of death traps that make Murderworld look like an escape room.  Williams writes this with an extreme amount of irreverence, and Carlos Gomez does a fine job on the art.  This is not destined to be a particularly memorable book, I don’t think, but it is kind of fun.

Comics I Would Have Bought if Comics Weren’t So Expensive:

Avengers #60

Avengers Forever #9

Batman: The Knight #9

What would you like to know?